How to wear the masonic apron?

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Payne, Dec 14, 2009.

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How should we wear the apron?

  1. On-top of the coat/jacket

    148 vote(s)
    85.1%
  2. Underneth the coat/jacket

    12 vote(s)
    6.9%
  3. It does not matter!

    14 vote(s)
    8.0%
  1. Payne

    Payne Registered User

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    How to wear the masonic apron?


    Whether to wear it inside or outside the jacket has been left to the individual lodges? These articles lay out the two arguments.


    Outside the jacket
    By RW Bro. A E. Roberts

    With such symbolism as the apron presents to a freemason, he is meant to realize the nature and significance of being clothed with such a badge; that he must never disgrace it, for it will never disgrace him. Clothed with this
    bond of friendship, it is quite clear that if a brother neglect such advice, he disgraces himself and not the apron. Thus the apron, like a sign on the highway, should have nothing to obstruct its view, every part being fully
    displayed as an ever-ready guide on the way to masonic duties. Although the clothing of early days lent itself to the full view of the apron, the change in man’s attire today cannot and should not alter the significance of the apron,nor hide any part of it from view, for as a whole it has a deep symbolic import and conveys its important and instructive lesson. As the badge of a freemason no coat or garment or part of any coat or garment should obstruct or cover it from view. Every brother when “properly clothed” in the lodge should feel so proud of this great emblem, he should see that it is in full view to all, for it is the most important article of masonic clothing. Illustrations in the large number of masonic journals which are published today show brethren both singly and in groups wearing the apron outside the ordinary clothing. In one of these journals Bro. Elbert Bede says: ”If there is a purpose in wearing the distinguished badge of a mason in the lodge room, it should be worn in such a manner as to show not only pride of the owner as being one of those who may wear such a badge, but also that it may serve the purpose for which it is intended. Our Freemasonry may be invisible, but the apron shouldn’t be.” Constitutions exist which definitely declare “The brethren shall be clothed with aprons worn on the outside of the coat.” The apron which does not protect the clothing is of little use; likewise the apron which is but partly shown, does not fittingly symbolize protection from vice. Therefore strictly speaking the apron should be worn outside the coat, not underneath it. Reprinted from Masonic Bulletin, October 1951.p. 15-16.


    Underneath the jacket
    By R.W. Bro. L. Healey, D.G.M.

    A question that has exercised the minds of a number of freemasons during the past few years has recently come into prominence in the international masonic world as a result of a ruling made by the Grand Lodge of Scotland
    last year [1951]. At a quarterly communication presided over by MW Bro. Malcolm Harvey of Kinord, KCMG, DL, the Grand Master, a law was adopted that lodge aprons “Shall be fastened under the coat, and must be worn so as
    to be visible.” In the Grand Jurisdiction of British Columbia from the time of the formation of Grand Lodge up to recent years, it was the established practice to wear the apron under the coat, as evidenced by a varied assortment of group photographs taken during the early years, as well as the experience of those now living during later times. In fact any departure from this custom was an exceedingly rare occurrence up to the end of World War II, except in the case of brethren of the Armed Services attending lodge in uniform. The advent of the double-breasted jacket as a later fashion in men’s wear created the problem as to how to wear the apron visibly in lodge with the jacket buttoned. Some brethren solved that problem by fastening the apron outside the jacket rather than leave it open, with the result that a motley assortment of styles of apron wear could be observed in the average lodge at labor. No doubt the Grand Lodge of Scotland gave complete consideration to all angles of the matter, perhaps consulted with the editor of the “Tailor & Cutter” as to the possibility of the double-breasted jacket
    being on the way out as a style for evening wear. But there is a stronger probability that the decision was based upon a firm determination to adhere to the custom regarding the wearing of the apron which has prevailed for
    more than two centuries past in that Grand Lodge, as well as in its neighboring jurisdictions in the old land. And that a change at this time to suit a passing fad in the design of men’s garments was neither necessary nor
    desirable. The Grand Lodge of British Columbia has derived a great many of its usages and customs from the Grand Lodge of Scotland under whose jurisdiction five of the nine lodges which formed the Grand Lodge in 1871 had their existence. This timely ruling, therefore, is of particular interest to the members of British Columbia lodges as an incentive to continue to establish usage and custom, and wear the apron as the brethren of this Grand jurisdiction have always worn it, fastened under the coat and in such a manner as to be visible. Reprinted from Masonic Bulletin, February 1952,
    p. 47.

    More about wearing the apron

    As it is known, both the Irish and Scottish Constitutions follow the practice of wearing the masonic apron under the coat, whereas in England, only when full evening dress, with tails, is donned, is the girdle slipped under the
    garment, the cut-out pattern of the front of which permits full view of the apron. In many cases, with our brethren of those sister constitutions, according to the shape of the coat or jacket worn, the apron is barely showing, whilst, of necessity a double-breasted garment, which would hide it completely, must be ruled out for wear. Obviously, such conditions have led to a partial relaxation of the rule, and in some of the latest amendments to the regulations of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, there has been substituted the recommendation that aprons shall be fastened preferably under the coat, but must be worn so as to be visible. One recalls, in regard to the custom,
    the witty repartée made, some years ago, by the late Earl of Donough more, Grand Master of Ireland, at a masonic gathering in London which had witnessed a demonstration of Irish working by a visiting team. Taunted as to the illogicality of thus hiding the badge of a freemason, he suggested that, on the contrary, being presumed to be working craftsmen, it was unthinkable that anyone should work with his coat on, and the practice illustrated the fact.



    My personal opinion is that it should be wore on top of any other chlothing and worn with pride!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  2. RAY

    RAY Registered User

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    It really dosen't matter where other countries or states wear there aprons. In Texas you wear it outside any clothing so its in full vision. In the last 25 years I have seen the WM call down a couple of brothers for having there apron under a coat. It only stands to reason when wearing the badge of a Mason it should be seen!
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Now it would behoove a Mason to know the customs of another GJ if they were to visit but in the great state of Texas we are to wear the apron on the outside of all clothing. This is a small example of how Masonry must conform to the times but stay intact at it's core.
     
  4. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    In this instance, Kentucky and Texas are on the same page.
     
  5. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    or at least be cognizant of your surroundings when in a new place! When in Rome...!
     
  7. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    GLoTX protocol is that Aprons & Jewels are to be worn on the Outside of all other clothing worn and visible at all times. Coats and jackets are not acceptable over the Apron.
     
  8. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    In my jurisdiction it is stated in the by-laws that the apron is to be worn over the jacket and under a cut. No variations allowed.
     
  9. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    My first lodge visit was to an all tuxedo lodge. I showed up a few minutes late and received a warm welcome from the tyler. Upon walking into the lodge I heard a couple of gasps (something seldom heard in groups of men).

    I was wearing my apron "wrong" and I was glad someone mentioned it to me after lodge. And explained the reason why "the badge" being what it is. I thought it was reasonable and appreciated the explanation.

    But having to wonder about the gasp and mumbling on my first entry - I have to wonder if the gentlemen didn't have the vapors.

    I fully understand and respect the reasons, but I thought the initial reaction (by just a couple) was a bit much.

    With respect to tradition. Most men dont' have the opportunity to wear an apron with a jacket until then do - by a very large proportion.

    I think the tradition of wearing it on the outside is right. But I think the education on that matter should be educational - and if we expect such tings to the point of giving us the vapors, it should be a state wide educational point.
     
  10. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I know that wearing the apron over a coat or jacket is proper Masonic etiquette in Texas, and it looks great on you skinny guys, but it looks like hell on us "round" types.
     
  11. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Actually, wearing such a piece of cloth suspended on a stretch band around the waist over a business suit or similar should look silly on skinny guys as well as on round types. But it doesn't. For us it doesn't. Why? A good question. Maybe because we know its background, its sincereness to us, the important message it sends out.

    But that is also why I will never participiate in a masonic parade. To show our symbols to the public, to the uninitiated is nothing I would ever do. I would feel silly in that moment, because I'm not in the appropriate environment, surrounded by the appropriate people, who, like me, know what it is all about.

    I'm lucky that there are no masonic parades here in Germany. Regalia belongs to the tyled temple room or the museum here.
     
  12. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    Are the museum's tyled?
     
  13. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    No, they are not, but the showcases in the museums are not equipped with brothers wearing them.
     
  14. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Different strokes for different folks. Here, not only officer installations, but also service award presentations & funeral services are open to the profane as well as Brethren. YMMV.
     
  15. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Officer installations are done in open lodge here, so of course there is no outside audience. The tradition is just completely different here and even in the past, when masonry was much more prominent in society because the Kings and Emperors were members of even grand masters, there was no public display.
     
  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    There seems to be some confusion in terminology here. In our Lodges "open" means open to other than Masons. A "tyled" or "tiled" Lodge means Masons only.
     
  17. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    Bro. Bill,
    I think you are about to be disappointed at your English to german . "no outside audience" is much more clear than "open"
     
  18. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Excuse me, I used a literal translation from German into English. This of course can lead to confusion. With open I meant, after the opening ritual, when the lodge is properly tyled.
     
  19. TexMass

    TexMass Registered User

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    MA, outside and very strict about it.
     
  20. Raven

    Raven Registered User

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    Always over the coat / jacket.
     

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